Does anyone know who is responsible for rebooking flights in the event of a cancellation when the initial booking is made through an online agent?
I booked flights to and a hotel in Seville through Expedia. When we arrived at the airport for the return flight we were informed that it had been cancelled. We had not been notifed by e mail or SMS that the flight would not depart Seville. The airline (Vueling) refused to rebook us onto another flight as the initial booking had been made through Expedia, not directly with them. Vueling claimed that they had alerted all travel agents to the cancellation six days earlier when they had themselves become aware of planned strike action by Iberia staff (shared ground handling with Vueling) The airline view was that the online agent was responsibile for rebooking our seats.
We rang Expedia. The also refused to help as, in their view, 'the airline had chosen to cancel the flight' so Expedia were exonerated of any further commitment. They would not even look to see what other flight options were available to us. Their only suggestion was that we go back to the airline and if that failed to try Iberia and demand that they expatriate us as it was due to the Iberia strike that we were stuck in Seville airport. We returned to Vueling but they would not budge. We were then given a printed sheet that detailed 'customer rights' . This stated that if the booking was made with an online travel agent then the agent was responsible for any rebooking of flights.
After 3 hours of trying we felt abandoned by Expedia foremost. They had been happy to take our money but were not prepared to assist in any way. Stuck between two companies both denying responsibility we were forced to try other airlines to find a way home. We managed to get seats that night for 190 euros each.
Has anyone experienced a similar difficulty with online agents or does anyone know who has the legal responsibility for expatriating travellers when the booking is made with an agent and a flight is cancelled?